Wednesday’s feature race at Dundalk is a one mile handicap worth an impressive €24,000. Read on for our expert betting tips and runner by runner preview.
IN SUMMARY: Five of the eight participants are course and distance winners so there’s plenty of Dundalk experience on show. Ken Condon’s Strait Of Zanzibar is the most experienced of these with 10 wins from his 85 runs to date but he has to bounce back from a poor effort over course and distance last month. Mick Halford is the top trainer at Dundalk and he saddles two runners. Hot Alnasar notched up three wins on the trot at Dundalk at the start of the year and is back down to a workable mark but it must be telling that stable jockey Shane Foley rides CHESTNUT FIRE. The 4 year old landed his second course success over this trip last month, staying on well to beat stablemate Rezeki by a short head. He had a poor draw in Stall 10 to overcome that day and with a much better draw in Stall 3 here, he should be able to cope with a two pound hike in the weights.
1 BISHAN BEDI – Ex William Jarvis trained five year old gelding now trained by Joseph O’Brien. Won a pair of handicaps over 7f and 1m here in December 2015 but struggled off higher marks since. Back down to his last winning mark now (95) but was tailed off over course and distance last month. Best watched.
2 HOT ALNASAR – One of two runners in the field trained by Mick Halford who is the leading trainer at the course. All six of his victories have come here so if he bounces back from a poor effort last month he has to be respected. Great draw in Stall 1 but jockey bookings’ suggest he may be the stable outsider.
3 CHESTNUT FIRE – Did very well to win from a wide draw over course and distance last month and although the winning margin was only a short head, he was value for more. The Shane Foley and Mick Halford combination strike fear into their rivals at this track and he has a huge chance from a better draw in Stall 3 on this occasion, only two pounds higher in the weights.
4 BEAU SATCHEL – Won over course and distance in October 2014 off a mark of 67 but has a mark of 81 to overcome if he is to be victorious here. He did win in the hands of the talented Oisin Orr at Leopardstown off 78 on turf last time out but the feeling is he is a much better horse on grass so he looks too high in the weights for all he is respected.
5 SECRET WIZARD – Finished 3rd to the Aidan O’Brien trained De Coronado over course and distance in August which may well turn out to be good form. Won a Galway handicap off 73 in September and ran a great race here last time out when 2nd to Hurricane Cass at an un-fancied 25/1. Dropped a pound for that run so looks an obvious each way player.
6 SPECIAL FOCUS – Jim Bolger trained three year old filly making her All-Weather debut. Sole success came in a Roscommon maiden last year but she arrives here off the back of a fine 2nd at Cork and a 3rd place finish behind Beau Satchel at Leopardstown. She has a five pound pull in the weights with that runner here so is weighted to reverse the form.
7 STRAIT OF ZANZIBAR – The oldest and most experienced runner in the field at the age of seven and 85 runs under his belt. Thoroughly exposed but is a course and distance winner off a mark of 83 in the past and he runs off 78 here. Weighted to go well if he can bounce back from tame effort over C&D last month.
8 VICTORIOUS SECRET – 3 year old filly by Holy Roman Emperor who showed plenty of zest and speed when landing a 5f sprint here on her second start last year. This is her first time tackling a mile but she’s bred to get it and she won here over 7f off 75 back in June. Serious player with improvement to come.